The big winner at a robotic competition sponsored by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) was a team hailing from Korea who took home a $2 million prize for their robots ability to complete tasks like driving a car and turning on a valve. The team was lead by JunHo Oh, the mastermind behind Hubo humanoid robots.
Fans of robotics sat through a somewhat grueling process of testing the robots to see which one could complete the course fastest. It was almost eight hours before the first robot completed all of the assigned tasks. Spectators likened the event to watching paint dry.
Daniel Amen noted to creativityatwork.com that the event was inspired by the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan. Much of the disaster could have been avoided if it were possible to enter the facility to operate some of the safety equipment. The robots on the course during the competition were subjected to varying signal strength of remote controls in order to simulate a disaster scenario. Operators were a full quarter mile away as they attempted to control their robotic counterparts.
The contest was held at the Los Angeles Fair Grounds and served as an expo for robotics technology along with the competition. There were many companies and individuals in attendance who were there to show off their robotic prowess to the world.